Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday Momisms: Having Parented


There is this writer named Dorothy Parker who, when asked if she loved writing responded
"No, but I love having written."
Sometimes, that's how I feel about parenting.
I know that sounds wrong, but stay with me here....

Parenting is hard. It's a bitch, and sometimes it just plain knocks you on your ass. You go through things that make you crazy, break your heart, stress you to your limits. You make choices that make you feel like you would rather slam your head against a wall than have to make that decision, and some days, all you want is a freaking break. 
Now, not that it's all bad. In fact a lot of it is truly great. But a lot of it is hard....sometimes just plain awful.
When old people stop me in grocery stores and get all teary eyed and tell me to savor every moment of it, and how much they loved parenting and raising kids, sometimes I want to be like
"Ok, really? You really loved parenting? Or do you love having parented?" 
I feel like there is a distinct difference. 
Loving parenting to me is like saying 
"I love making difficult decisions that my children do not understand, and therefor cry, bitch and moan about until I feel like tearing out my hair. Oh, and when my daughter calls me the worst mom ever because I sent her to her room for the 35th time that day, and when I have to get up at 4 in the morning to change the sheets because someone had an accident? That's my favorite."
Of course I do not love those things. But to me, those are the moments when I am truly parenting.
The hard days, the rough hours, the long nights, the difficult talks, that is when I am doing the work of parenting.
I don't always love the work, but I love having done it.
I love having children, I love looking back at the moments we've shared, how they've grown, daydreaming about who they'll become, and the small victories that I sometimes get when I see all my efforts to make them good, kind, responsible people pay off a little bit.

I love that I have parented, even if in the moment, in the dark and solitary trenches of parenting, I don't love the task at hand {who loves holding a shitty diaper at 2 in the morning?!}, I always look back at the parenting I've done and feel so so glad that I've done it.

So I guess the message here is that if you're having a day when you're counting down each freaking second until bedtime, and honestly considering locking yourself in the minivan and screaming at the top of your lungs while the kids stand outside of it and point at Mommy like she's a crazy zoo animal, it's ok.
There is nothing wrong with you.
You're not loving parenting right now, but you'll love having parented. 
I promise.

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